Managing Stress in the New Year

In the article, Health & Beauty BreakDowns:  Managing Holiday Stress, Dr. Ronald Downs offers a few tips you can use to manage stress so it doesn’t affect your health.

To read details about each tip you can click on the link above, but here they are in a nutshell:

Take calm-down breaks
This includes:  7-8 hours of sleep per night, leisure time and breaks, quiet time to meditate or pray, massage, facials or manicure/pedicures, deep breathing from the diaphragm to oxygenate your system and slow your heartbeat

Get moving
Exercise regularly.  This helps your body, your brain, and your mood.

Eat real foods most of the time
This includes:  Eat a nutritious breakfast; choose fresh fruit, veggies, and whole grains; cut down on salt, sugar, preservatives, additives, and fat; don’t overindulge on caffeine or alcohol

Make “Nice to Do For Me” and “Need To Do For You” lists
Be realistic about what you can do.  Take care of one item at a time, but don’t procrastinate.

DARE to relieve stress
D is for Diet – make healthy choices
A is for Attitude and Awareness – learn to handle stress and accept what you can’t change
R is for Rest, Relaxation, and Relationships – make time for sleep and make alone time
E is for Exercise – get moving

We know that one way to help relieve stress is by getting a good night’s sleep.  This is so crucial for our health and well-being.  In order to sleep well you need a comfortable mattress.  Check out a natural latex mattress and an air bed to see which mattress is right for you.

For Slowing Mental Decline, Ginkgo Biloba is Not the Answer

Ginkgo Biloba Doesn’t Slow Mental Decline say the doctors involved in a six-year clinical study.  For years many people have taken the herbal supplement thinking it would make them sharper or slow mental decline in the elderly.  This study says it doesn’t.

The study already showed that ginkgo biloba does not prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly and now Dr. Steven T. DeKosky and his colleagues have gone back over the data to see if ginkgo mighty slow mental decline in healthy older people, or those showing beginning signs of impairment.  The conclusion – No sign of this was found.  Ginkgo Biloba did not help with cognitive impairment any more than a placebo did.  The problem wasn’t potency either.  The study used standardized doses that are regulated and sold as medication in Germany.  (My question – What is it supposed to do as a medication in Germany??)

Bottom line:  Save your money and work on your cognition with activities that challenge your brain such as crossword puzzles and other things that require high level thinking.

Lack of sleep is something that can cause cognitive impairment at any age.  One thing that is important for a good night’s sleep is a comfortable mattress.  Check out our air bed and our natural latex mattress to learn how you can improve your sleep with a comfortable mattress.

Cases of a Drug-Resistant Bacteria Triples in Hospitals

The article Drug-Resistant Acinetobacter Infection Triples in U.S. Hospitals immediately caught my attention.  I wanted the details on this alarming statistic.

The drug-resistant bacteria, Acinetobacter, is especially common among veterans of the Iraqi war.  Researchers found a 300% increase in cases of this bacteria that are resistant to imipenem.  This is disturbing because it suggests that this particular bacteria is becoming resistant to everything there is to fight it.

The researchers used data from 300 hospitals around the United States.  The article did not say how the hospitals studied were chosen.

Bacteria is everywhere, but is it something you want to sleep with?  Of course not!  A 100% botanically derived natural latex mattress is antimicrobial, antibacterial, dust mite free and resists mold and mildew.  It is also durable and completely recyclable.  Perhaps hospitals should look into the benefit of latex mattresses for their patients.  If I found stats like that in my hospital, I certainly would.

Unhealthy Candy

Dr. Kristie Leong writes an interesting article with Avoid These Unhealthy Candies at All Costs.  Perhaps I am behind the times, but all thought all candy was unhealthy.  My definition of unhealthy is something with no nutritional value for which most candy qualifies (except small amounts of dark chocolate).  Apparently the candy Dr. Leong writes about here is super bad.  You can read more about each of these by clicking on the link above.

Here are the candies Dr. Leong doesn’t want you to eat and my comments too:

Cotton Candy – No kidding!  This is nothing but sugar.  My other gripe – It’s way to messy!

Rock Candy – Another candy that is all sugar and artificial colorings.  Dr. Leong isn’t fun at all, but I do agree with her.

Licorice Sticks – Good!  I don’t like these either.  I’m glad there are no favorites on this list so far!

Deep Fried Candy Bars – These are so out there that I don’t even know what they are.  It looks like I have been staying away from the really southern fairs and carnivals

Skittles – Rats!  I like these.  At least they have a tiny bit of juice in them…

The good news is that I think most of us can live without the candy listed above.  As long as Gummy Bears, Jolly Ranchers, and Starburst (has vitamin C) don’t make the list, I’m happy!

While we are talking about eating healthy, let’s talk about sleeping healthy.  A 100% botanically derived natural latex mattress is a great way to do that.  A natural latex mattress is antimicrobial, antibacterial, dust mite free and resists mold and mildew.  It’s way cleaner and better for you than cotton candy!  Another “better than candy” bed – Check out an air bed!

Disinfectants and the Growth of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

According to research published in the January issue of Microbiology, Disinfectants can promote growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  These findings could have important implications in how the spread of infection is managed in hospitals and other health care settings.

The research was conducted at the National University of Ireland in Galway.  The researchers found that by adding increasing amounts of disinfectant to specific bacteria that the bacteria could adapt to survive the disinfectant as well as a commonly used antibiotic, even without having been exposed to the antibiotic.

The bacteria used was P. aeruginosa.  It can cause a wide range of infections, especially in those with weakened immune systems and those with diseases such as diabetes and cystic fibrosis.  The bacteria is a major cause of infections acquired at hospitals.  The fact that the bacteria could survive the disinfectant and the antibiotic could be a serious problem for hospitals.  This means that diluted disinfectants meant to kill the bacteria could actually make the bacteria immune to an antibiotic that it hasn’t even been exposed to.

Many people are looking for ways to make their lives safer and more germ-free.  One way to do this is by sleeping on a 100% botanically derived natural latex mattress.  A truly natural latex mattress is antibacterial, antimicrobial, dust mite free and resists mold and mildew.  What a healthy way to spend a third of your day!

Obesity and Heart Risk

Author Bill Hendrick, in the article Heart Risk of Obesity Greater Than Thought, gives an overview of a study by scientists at the University of Bristol in the U.K. and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.  The article also states that the study shows that the risks of being underweight may have been overstated.

As a health and physical educator, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.  Obesity is an epidemic in this country and it is the greatest threat to health there is.  Previous studies have shown that those who are obese are at a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.  Studies have also shown a link between being underweight and increase mortality from diseases such as lung cancer and respiratory disease.

The scientists at the above mentioned institutions now say that the risks of being overweight may have been understated and the risks of being underweight may have been overstated.  The study is published in the journal BMJ.

Obesity has been rising in this country and is a huge problem.  The problem of being underweight isn’t as much of an issue and is generally limited to those with eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.  Diseases that are related to obesity and on the rise include diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease, and many types of cancer.

Lack of adequate sleep can also contribute to health problems.  One thing you can do to improve your sleep is to “go green.”  A 100% natural latex mattress is antibacterial, antimicrobial, dust mite free and resists mold and mildew.  It is also one really comfortable mattress!

Organic Products For Your Home

I know know that “organic” and “green” are the big buzz right now, and I agree that organic is better, but this article, Organic Products for Around the House, pointed out places one can go organic that I never even dreamed of!

For example, here are the things and places where this author suggests going organic (and my comments)

Organic Skin Care – Okay, that one I have heard of…
Organic Shampoo – I get it, but haven’t done it yet…
Organic Dog Food – I may have to look into this one, but Copper loves what he eats now.
Organic Baby Formula – I vote for breastfeeding, but if you use formula, of course organic is a good idea.
Organic Mattress – Of course you want 100% natural here.  Make sure that if you are choosing a latex mattress that it is a 100% all natural latex mattress that is botanically derived.  Eighty percent of all latex mattresses are synthetically made with petrochemicals, but the manufacturers and retailers are very tight-lipped about this. Make sure you do your homework.  You can read the differences between 100% natural latex and synthetic latex by going to our latex mattress page.
Organic Milk – I use soy milk, but there is organic cow’s milk too.
Organic Make Up – Definitely better for the skin…
Organic Coffee – I don’t drink coffee.  Yuck!

Go green!

Tips to Deal With Stress

Stress — It affects many of us and is sometimes difficult to deal with.  In Tips to Deal with Stress, the author, Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh, offers some helpful tips for dealing with stress.

Here are a few tips Dr. Singh offers for reducing stress and therefore, improving your health:

A nutritious diet at correct intervals.  This is extremely important.  Include 8 – 10 glasses of water daily too.

Exercise at least four times a week.  Enough said.  This tip alone would solve many people’s mental and physical ails.

Positive Activities.  Do what you enjoy.  Participate in dance, yoga, or whatever you enjoy doing.

Indulge in a hobby.  This one can work in conjunction with the one above.  Take 15 minutes everyday to enjoy a hobby.

Pleasurable activities – This is another that can work with the two above.  Things that give you happiness are stress relievers.  Walk the dog, socialize, enjoy the outdoors, etc.

Another thing that can help relieve stress is making sure you get enough sleep.  A comfortable bed is part of that stress reliever.  Two specialty beds that are getting more and more attention are air beds (also called air mattresses) and 100% natural latex mattresses.  You can learn more about both types of mattresses by going to Habitat Furnishings.

Tips for Minimizing Stress and Sleep-Related Pain

This article, from a physical therapy site, is directed towards students cramming for exams during finals, but the tips work for anyone working hard, working late, and under stress.

Below are some tips the article suggests.  You can get details about each one by going to http://physicaltherapypage.com/5-tips-for-minimizing-stress-and-sleep-related-pain-during-winter-finals-3/

1.  Maintain proper posture while studying
2.  Take a break – Get up and stretch
3.  Eliminate the all nighter and get some sleep (I always did this one!)
4.  Eat healthy
5.  Use your free time to exercise

These things are great advice for anyone working long hard hours.  (Reminds me – Time for for a break myself…)
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Another way to make sure you get a good night’s sleep is to make sure you are sleeping on a comfortable mattress.  At Habitat Furnishings we have great choices including our 100% all natural latex mattress and our custom designed air bed.

CDC Reports Autism Disorders Increase 57% in Four Years

I found this article on Web MD alarming and thought it merited a closer look.  According to the CDC, the rate of autism disorders has increased 57% in just four years.  If this were a contagious disease, this would be epidemic.

Twenty years ago the rate of autism was 1 in 5000 children.  At the end of 2006 the number of children diagnosed by age eight was 1 in 110.  There is a five times higher risk for boys than for girls.

One question that is posed (but not answered) in this article that I also ask is this — Is this increase due to better and greater diagnosis or are today’s children at a greater risk for autism?  If they are at greater risk for autism, why?  If they are at greater risk, what can we do to change this?

To read this article and its citations in its entirety, go to http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/news/20091218/autism-jumps-57percent-in-just-4-years?src=RSS_PUBLIC.

Some people think the abundance of chemicals in our daily lives contributes to the increasing incidence of autism.  If you are looking for 100% natural make sure what you are buying really is 100% natural.  Many latex mattresses are not 100% all natural latex and have synthetic petrochemicals in them.  Check out our natural latex mattress page to learn the difference.

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